Police: Livery driver beat man walking to synagogue in Brooklyn
Physically and emotionally scarred, Lipa Schwartz described the frightening moment he was attacked in broad daylight in the middle of the street in Borough Park.
“All of a sudden ‘boom!’ I tried to protect myself, run away. I fell. He come again on me,” said Schwartz.
Schwartz was on his way to service, which he attends every day, when he said the driver jumped out of his cab and started attacking him. The savage beating happened on 13th Ave by 46th Street. The victim’s holy items were scattered on the ground.
An arrest was made quickly on the scene. Eyewitness News is told Farrukh Afzal from Staten Island drove for a car service in Brooklyn, and has been arrested numerous times.
Schwartz says Afzal yelled ‘Allah’ during the assault.
“I went to him when he was handcuffed, ‘what did I do to you that you tried to murder me? Tell me.’ He didn’t answer back,” added Schwartz.
Schwartz says he has no idea why the man attacked him, but says he thinks it was because he is Jewish.
Initially, detectives investigated the incident as possible road rage between the victim and the driver.
Police say hate crime charges may be filed.
The car service where he worked informed Eyewitness News that he has since been let go.